Maple Syrup: Pure Triumphs Over “All-Natural”?

The State of Vermont lodged a complaint with the Food and Drug Administration and asked for an investigation to determine whether Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, is violating FDA labeling laws. A recent AP story noted:

A new Log Cabin syrup touted as “all natural” looks a lot like the pure, 100 percent maple product that’s the pride of Vermont, right down to its packaging in a plastic beige jug.

But Vermont officials, seeking to protect the state’s signature commodity, contend that Log Cabin All Natural Syrup is not what it seems, enticing consumers into dousing their pancakes with ingredients that include caramel color, xanthan gum a natural thickener and a paltry 4 percent maple.

True New Englanders and aficienados of Pure Vermont Maple Syrup – or that of  New Hampshire and Canada – wince at the idea of  consumers outside the region being duped by the trickery of a container and a label.

Today the AP’s John Curran is reporting that:

The maker of Log Cabin All Natural Syrup says it’s getting rid of the product’s caramel coloring in response to complaints by producers of the real thing…

Pinnacle Foods said Tuesday it’s changing the ingredients to assuage concerns by maple syrup makers in Vermont and New Hampshire.

The “purist’s” complaints are probably not fully assuaged since the labeling still isn’t clear that the product isn’t really  “pure” and all-natural. Stay tuned.

Read both AP stories here and here.

Currier and Ives:  American Forest Scene  Maple Sugaring, 1856